Monday 27 June 2011

Aveley / Romford

Aveley play in the Ryman League Premier Division, & still will be, having earned a reprieve, despite finishing in a relegation spot. It's a long time since I've seen a game here, at least fifteen years, at a guess. So when they had a Friday night match early on last season, against Croydon Athletic in the visitors first match after their few weeks absence after the cricket betting scandal that enveloped their club, I decided to pop along.

The ground is down this path, from the main road.

At the end of it is a car park, club house, with the ground to the left.

This old fashioned crest in the entrance to the bars.

I was here quite early, & I wanted to try to get a half-decent set of snaps before it got darker, but still checked out the clubhouse.

Through the windows you can see the stand to the left, but I took this photo for the superb club crests & name in the glass.

Back outside it's the standard League sign.

And one for their homeless tenants Romford.

For some reason unbeknown to me I didn't take a snap of the turnstiles outside, but here they are from within the stadium.

Through the gates we are almost in the corner of the ground. Behind us is the clubhouse & tea bar.

Stepping up onto the side terrace we see the narrow open area behind the goal.

But we're going to head the other way in my preferred clockwise direction. Along the main side of the ground, with the substantial open terrace & stand.

Before we move along it's our first 'corner flag' shot.

The terracing is quite shallow, in step size, but still substantial.

Various huts at the back of it, toilets, & also-I think-a club shop area, unfortunately closed for this evening. There was something in the programme apparently saying scarves & badges were on sale in the bar, but I didn't read it until I got home.

From by the pitch perimeter we glance back to the turnstiles.

Not sure, but I guess this is the club shop.

The terrace continues in front of the main stand, with the low wooden fence in front of it.

Steps in front, and a neatly kept patch of lawn in front of it too!

From this enclosure we see over the pitch, some cover in the centre behind the goal to the left, & on the far side.

Behind the dugouts we look over the halfway line.

Now it's time to climb up the steps into the stand.

Old fashioned traditional wooden seats under the roof, smartly painted in club colours.

With even more traditional old fashioned lettering for the rows.

From the top corner we look down the stand.

At the back is this enclosure for club officials.

With benches at the front of it for the press.

The 'posh' seats for the directors!

This is the 'directly over the halfway line' picture.

Past the directors box is more of the wooden seating.

Back down in front of the seats now, at this side of the stand is the 'players tunnel' down to the pitch.

Pitchside, down the tunnel, we look up to the stand, and now see the club initials are painted into the seats, with the club name proudly along the top of the overhang.

A direct face on picture, from on the pitch, dugouts in front.

The rear of the stand, where the players entrance is, has the club name along the back of it.

By one of the dugouts, stand as a backdrop.

The steps to the changing rooms.

Beyond them the terracing continues all the way to the corner.

From this sdie we see the covered area directly behind the goal.

Almost at the end of the main side we turn to see along it.

As we turn the corner it's just hard standing to begin with.

Then one open step of terrace.

Which leads to the metal covered area.

Modern & functional.

It is named after a local charity.

From behind the goal we see the stand to the right.

With a small area of cover opposite it, to the left.

A few steps along we see over the pitch.

Then start to continue onwards, open standing past the cover.

Again just one stepped.

Now at the next corner.

With a shallow step along the side, leading to the cover in the centre.

Which develops into a proper section of terace, judging from the positioning of the brick wall, & raised fence at the rear I think this side had a once more substantial roof, rather than the one currently knocked up.

In fact the 'fence' at the back is a 'temporary' permanent one, which suggests it was in fact hastily errected as cheap as possible. hanging on it are banners from the London Borough of Newham. I have no idea why, as Aveley is not even in the Greater London boundaries, never mind Newham!

Across the halfway line from this side.

Under the side cover we turn back to the cover behind the goal.

And toward the open end, with the bar in the far corner.

The side cover, from the front, with the league sponsor on the front.

The steps continue to the 'side wall', and then the shallow step past it, to the corner.

Moving along we look to the open end.

From that end we stare along the touchline, set a fair way from the supporters.

The open step curves round, to continue along the last side.

From here it's another glance, from a different angle, to the main stand, clearly the 'crown jewel' of this ground.

Open hard standing all the way at this end.

Just a very wide shallow step for a terrace.

And here we are, back where we began, to complete our circuit of Aveley FC.

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